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KIEV, December 21. /TASS/. Losses of Ukraine’s agrarian sector from Russia’s ban on imports of Ukrainian foods in 2016 are estimated at $800 million, Leonid Kozachenko, the chairman of the council of entrepreneurs under the Ukrainian government, said on Monday.
"The most vulnerable segment is exports of dairy products. Next are meat and fruits. In all, they make up some 800 million U.S. dollars of exports. This is what we may lose in 2016. AS for this year, our losses will be about $600 million as compared with 2014," he said, adding that Russia’s food imports ban would be "painful for the sector."
"In such conditions it is necessary to look for other markets. But we need time and money for that," he noted.
Ukraine’s association and free trade zone agreement with the European Union comes into effect from January 1, 2016.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said earlier Ukraine could not take part in two free trade zones - with the European Union and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) - concurrently. With this in mind, the Russian government passed a decision to impose a ban on food imports from Ukraine from January 1, 2016. Following this move, Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Ukraine’s losses from the Russian ban might reach 600 million U.S. dollars.
The European Union however said it would not compensate Ukraine for the loss of the Russian market after the free trade zone agreement comes into effect, or after January 1, 2016. Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said the European Union had given Ukraine enough money to help Ukrainian businesses get prepared to the new market conditions.